books that have left me with something

May 09, 2020

how's everyone's week been?? i'm here trying to get used to the new blogger layout. it's much friendlier for mobile, though it takes getting used to!! my life lately has been made up of enneagram typing characters (Brooke's, Faith's and my own), watching Trollhunters (it's ... surprisingly addictive), and studying bacteria and viruses (wow, great timing, right?)

i've also been thinking a lot about my favorite books. specifically, what makes a book A FAVORITE? what criteria does it have to meet to be considered a favorite? it's easy to call any book a favorite just after you finish reading ... but fast forward months later, when someone asks you. you can only tell them several titles. how do you pick?


something Nadine Brandes once said (in this video) kind of stuck with me. "it has to affect my life somehow ... grow me as a person ... make me think really hard." so recently, I've been trying to think of the books I've read and see whether they have, actually, affected me. grown me. made me think.

and of course, what better way to think than to write a post about it. so here we are. BOOKS THAT HAVE LEFT ME WITH SOMETHING.


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32830562In 27 Days 
by Alison Gervais

Basic idea: 
When Hadley Jamison is given a once in a lifetime chance to travel back in time to save a boy she barely knows from committing suicide, her life becomes 10 times more complicated, and maybe 20 times more exciting.

Number of times I've read it: 
Probably four times, if not five.

What if left me with: 
I think this book taught me (not that I didn't know already, but this book punched it in) that strangers are worth caring about. You may not know them; they may appear really really different; you may not really have anything in common - but they're much more like you than you realize and they are. worth. loving. Hadley took a chance. She made hersefl look like a fool. She went out of her way, took so much trouble, and faced loneliness and critisism and some scorn. All for what? A person she didn't know. But a person she had a chance to save.

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The Lost Books 
by Ted Dekker

Basic idea: 
Four chosen ones are sent on a mission to prove themselves to their new commanding officer - but on the way they are stopped by mysterious creatures and redirected on a new quest - to save their own world and ours. The six books in the series follow them through hell and back again as they race against time to save what was lost.

1620913Number of times I've read it: 
I've read the first four books once, and the last two twice (once in audio, once in print). I've been meaning to reread but am too scared, in case I don't like it anymore.

What it left me with: 
If Bambi was my childhood favorite, then this can be said to be my teenhood favorite. I was addicted. This was my introduction to modern fantasy (previously, I'd only read C. S. Lewis). And it taught me so much, literature wise. 

While I'd give this book 3/5 stars for technicalities and execution (it really veered off course of its own plot line in the later books), it gets 5/5 starts for what it did to me. This series showed me everything I love in ficiton. I had never read anything as riveting before. Action, twists, gripping plot, fantasy setting, strong themes, Christian allegory, enemies to lovers, betrayal, redemtion, a close knit group of characters, climatic battles, escapes, rescues, etc etc.

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Letters to the Lost 
by Brigid Kemmerer

30038855Basic idea: 
Juliet Young writes letters and leaves them on her mother's grave - but she never expects that someone would actually read them. And reply. This little correspondence sparks a fascinating relationship that ends up  being much more complex than it first appears.

Number of times I've read it: 
I've read this book twice, I believe.

What it left me with: 
One of my absolute favorite themes in books is not judging people by their covers and actually  learning to look beyond the surface of things. I think that you will notice this theme in every single favorite book of mine. I think that Letters to the Lost cemented the idea in my soul like no other book - people are more than what they appear to be. Besides this is also my absolute favorite contemporary of all time, and a beautiful example of characters and plots that I love.

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11127. sy475 The Chronicles of Narnia 
by C. S. Lewis

Basic idea: 
if you don't know what Narnia is about, you're living under a rock.

Number of times I've read it
I'm acutally not sure, but possibly at least three times. I've also seen the movies multiple times and love them all <3

What it left me with: 
Everything. Narnia was my first taste of fantasy, and I fell in love. I adore everything about the style and the plot and the characters and the world and the allegory, and I'm gonna go reread it again now, okay? C. S. Lewis taught me so much about both life and story writing. Can anything beat that?

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24807186Wolf by Wolf 
by Ryan Graudin

Basic idea: 
in an alternate history where the Axis won WWII, Yael, a death camp survivor, must win a motorcycle race across continents in order to come face to face with Hiter - and assasinate him.

Number of times I've read it: 
only once! I just finished it two weeks ago but cannot wait to get it from the library again once I can!

What it left me with: 
I'll bet some of you saw this coming, eh? I cannot exactly pinpoint what I learned from Wolf by Wolf, because I got so much. Both an insight into history, an insight into humans, an insight into writing books. I think that if I had to tell you only one thing about this book, I'd say - people are people; people have souls; people matter.

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All things said and done, these are not, by any means, the only books that left me with something. Many books have taught me things, made me think, helped me grow. (And these are only the fictional ones I mentioned.) But as I scrolled through my lists on Goodreads, these jumped out at me like no others. These are the ones I shall always remember.

do you like books to leave you with something? off the top of your head, which ones have impacted you the most?

have a lovely saturday,
xx lisa

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29 comments

  1. Wow, I'm surprised Narnia is the only book I've read on your list. There's lots of books I need to check out! But I love this deep dive into your favorites. I also love the way you decided to narrow down your favorites into book that gave you something. That's how I focus my favorites shelf too.

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    1. eep so glad you enjoyed this post! I thought it was a fascinating way to look at favorites too! another level that I didn't do is books that actually inspier me to GO AND WRITE and those are actually rarer than one would expect. :))

      thanks for your comment Hannah!

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  2. a book that has impacted me, well a trilogy and a book, would be The Blood Race Trilogy, which really inspires me in a lot of ways and also 100DOS. I love those books so much. I want to read some of the books you mentioned here!

    Love this post! <3

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    1. wow Brookie I was 100% not expecting that !! *is entirely joking* THOSE BOOKS ARE AMAZING and 100DOS really really inspires me to look at life with new eyes too :'))

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  3. Wow, this post is amazing, Lisa!! I love the way you described these books - it makes me want to read (or reread) them all. <3 <3

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    1. THANK YOU NICOLE I'm so happy about this :') pls go read them alllllll (especially wolf by wolf lol)

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  4. i've only read In 27 Days from your list, but you described the magic of it perfectly! it's such a heartwarming book that lifts you up while still managing to tackle heavy themes. i'll definitely have to check out the rest of these books, i loved reading this post!! 💖💖

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    1. aw that's so kind of you to say!! I agree with you 10/10!! thank you for reading and commenting!!

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  5. I've really been meaning to read In 27 Days, maybe I should go order it now... ;)

    Also, all the yes to Narnia. Absolutely the most instrumental series in my life, just a smidge above LotR.

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    1. ... yes YOU SHOULD XD ...

      ahhhh yes, I relate. I adore LOtR too so much, but I think much of it flew over my head the first time I read is compared to Narnia?? *high fives*

      thanks for commenting!!

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  6. I love this post! And it was so fitting that you used that quote from Nadine Brandes (I love her YouTube channel!!), because as soon as I saw the title of this post I immediately thought of the Out of Time series. I just finished rereading it a few days ago and... yeah. Those books stuck with me like very few, and perhaps NO others have.

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

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    1. aaahhh that's a wildly delightful coincidence haha! that tirlogy is so good although I haven't read the third book yet (I couldn't get it at the time I wanted to read it and now I have to reread the other two before I read the last time, cos my memory is so bad XD).

      thanks so much for reading and commenting <3

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  7. love this post! <3 yess, i'm rereading Narnia right now (for like the twentieth time, lol), and i've forgotten just how amazing those books are. they definitely shaped my childhood, and i'm so excited to see my little siblings beginning to enjoy them. :)

    ahh, i really want to reread "in 27 days"! just bought myself a copy, bc it's so good + deserves a place on my bookshelf. <3

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    1. <333 so glad you enjoyed it!! I need to reread Narnia so bad but I'm so busy with other reading lol I remember reading the books to my sister and should really do that again!!

      ACK why are you making me wanna reread it too :')) it's so worth owning a copy to have on your shelf! I used to have one that I bought myself for Christman but then I gave it to my cousin XDD

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  8. <333 (Also 'In 27 Days' is TOTALLY due for another reread xD) << I adore it.

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  9. I love it when books leave me with something!! It makes the reading experience much more meaningful and ahhh! I love it! Also, I love this post!

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  10. In 27 Days is one of my fave books! Lovely list. XOXO

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  11. Ok now I want to read Wolf by Wolf.... This was a very interesting post. I really enjoyed it!

    astordetective.blogspot.com

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    1. thanks so much Rakayle!! you should really read it, it's incredible!!

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  12. All of these books sound so interesting! I love the layout of the whole post, it's so cool!

    Also, I love Trollhunters! Tt's one of my favorite shows! I hope you're enjoying it! :b

    www.melodypersonetteauthor.blogspot.com

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    1. hey Melody! thanks so much for your lovely comment! AND TROLLHUNTERS! so good to meet a fellow fan! I have finished the series and ADORE IT <3 cannot wait to watch the rest of the series trilogy aahhhh

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  13. Love this post idea, Lisa! It was lovely reading about the books that most impacted you.

    I remember my Ted Dekker days. And I totally agree with your rating. He’s a great writer and world-builder but plot-wise? Not so much. It’s been years but I think A.D. 30 and Blink of an Eye were my favorites.

    I’ll have check out Wolf by Wolf – it sounds fascinating.
    As for books that have impacted me. . .oh I’ll need time to think.

    cheers.
    k.

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    1. thank you so much k! I read A.D. 30 too and it was pretty good! he's such a master of suspense ... still my favorite author ever even though I wouldn't rate all his books five stars haha

      it is incredibly fascinating! if you like a brutal YA with a touch of fantasy and a lot of history, I think you'd enjoy it. in any case the characters are incredible!

      let me know when you know which books impacted you ;))

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  14. IN 27 DAYS YESSSSSS. That's one of my absolute favorites too. <3 So impactful in so many ways.

    The first book that comes to mind for me is My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I don't talk about it much, but it's SO close to my heart and I will never stop thinking of/rereading it. I've probably read it three times and I'm long overdue to read it again. <3

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    1. AAAHHHHH YESS! *fangirls*

      OH I really haven't heard much of this book though I have heard of the author! I should really really look it up! I read her Midnight at the Electric and it was a great book :))

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  15. This is such a beautiful post; I loved reading all your thoughts on this <3
    For me, the first few books that came to my mind were Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Aeropagitica by John Milton, and It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt.

    Eleanor <3

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    1. *high five* SHAKESPEARE FOR THE WIN. I get to study him for school again soon so I'm ecstatic!! I haven't heard much about two of these that you mentioned but I should look them up. Tolkien is amazing though, isn't he?

      Thanks for reading my posts and commenting !! love ya !!

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